Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group

Established in 1980 by Ed Dundon, the Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group (DSAG) provides an opportunity for a growing group of superintendents to consult with the Dean, network with other superintendents in California, and recruit aspiring superintendents to join the USC family. DSAG elected Frank Cosca PhD ’80 as its first president in 1991. Today DSAG has approximately 200 members.

DSAG Priorities Include:

  • Serving as active and engaged members of the USC Rossier Trojan Family.
  • Raising funds for the DSAG Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports current USC Rossier EdD students aspiring to become superintendents.
  • Advising the dean on a variety of current educational issues.
  • Sponsoring the annual USC Rossier superintendents’ dinner, the largest gathering of educational leaders affiliated with a California university.
  • Annually recognizing a USC Rossier alumnus or faculty member who has made significant contributions to K–12 education.

Member Events

  • DSAG Awards Dinner (January)
  • Spring DSAG Meeting (April/May)
  • DSAG @ Associates Picnic (September)
  • Fall DSAG Meeting (September/October)

View a gallery of past DSAG events.

 Superintendent Announcements

  • Christopher Brown EdD ’22, Capistrano Unified School Distrcit Superintendent 
  • Julienne Lee EdD ’20, Buena Park School District Superintendent 
  • Constantino Aguilar EdD ’19, Riverbank Unified School District Superintendent
  • Garry Cameron EdD ’10, Needles Unified School District Superintendent
  • Amie Carter EdD ’18, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools
  • Jennifer Hawn EdD ’07, Piedmont Unified School District Superintendent
  • Gary Saunders EdD ’22, Superintendent of Sierra Foothill Charter School  
  • Terry Walker EdD ’14, Keppel Union School District
  • Gunn Marie Hansen MS ’96, PhD ’00, Westminster School District Superintendent
  • Josh Van Norman MAT ’07, Bradley Union School District Superintendent
  • Maria Martinez-Poulin EdD ’17, Culver City Unified School District Interim Superintendent
  • Katherine Stopp EdD ’15, Fountain Valley School District
  • Ramiro Rubalcaba EdD ’15, Los Nietos School District
  • Fal Asrani EdD ’10, Marysville Joint Unified School District
  • Clara Finneran EdD ’16, Lompoc Unified School District
  • Lori Gonzalez (current EdD student), Lamont Elementary School District

 DSAG Executive Committee

  • Wes Smith EdD ’05, Chair
  • Doug Kimberly EdD ’08, DSAG Co-Chair
  • Mary McNeil MS '80, PhD ’96, Fundraising Co-Chair
  • Andrew Pulver EdD ’11, Fundraising Co-Chair
  • Maria Martinez-Poulin EdD ’16, Sponsorship Co-Chair
  • Edgar Zazueta EdD ’18, Sponsorship Co-Chair
  • Dave Cash EdD '08, Scholarship Co-Chair
  • Crystal Turner EdD ’13, Scholarship Co-Chair
  • Melissa Moore EdD ’14, Women of DSAG Co-Chair
  • Catherine Kawaguchi EdD ’14, Women of DSAG Co-Chair
  • Raul Ramirez EdD ’14, Member at Large
  • Paul Gothold EdD ’17, Member at Large

2024   Wesley I. Smith EdD ’05
2023   Mary McNeil MS ’80, PhD ’96
2022   Margaret Chidester EdD ’95
2021    Gregory Franklin ’83, EdD ’97
2020    David Verdugo EdD ’05
2019    David Cash EdD ’08
2018    John Roach EdD ’88
2017    Maria Ott PhD ’94
2016    Michael Escalante EdD ’02
2015    Pedro Garcia EdD ’83
2014    Jack McLaughlin MS ’65 PhD ’68 and Michael J. McLaughlin PhD ’77
2013    Karen Symms Gallagher
2012    Thomas C. Halvorsen EdD ’80
2011    Steven Fish EdD ’97
2010    Rudy Castruita EdD ’82
2009    Darline Robles PhD ’93
2008    Mike Caston MS ’73 EdD ’80 PhD ’81
2007    Carol Wilson PhD ’80
2006    Robert French ’52 PhD ’69
2005    Stuart Gothold EdD ’74
2004    John Duncan PhD ’70
2003    Robert Ferris PhD ’65
2002    Frank Cosca PhD ’80
2001    John Stallings ’48, PhD ’58
2000    Charles Terrell PhD ’66
1999    Leonard Murdy ’48, MS ’50, PhD ’62

The Women of DSAG is a dynamic community established in 2017 with a focus on fostering support and empowerment among women leaders. The group emerged as a space for women to connect, engage in meaningful discussions, and collectively address the distinctive challenges faced by women in leadership roles. 

The Women of DSAG is committed to holding events tailored for female leaders. Through inspirational gatherings featuring current or retired female superintendents, the Women of DSAG provides invaluable guidance and shares stories that inspire and motivate the next generation of women leaders. 

DSAG Dinner Sponsors


2024 DSAG Sponsors

Celebrating excellence in education: DSAG 2024 Awards Dinner

Honoring Wesley I. Smith EdD ’05 and four outstanding scholars advancing educational equity

Closing the literacy gap

Rialto USD's transformational journey

Featured Faculty

Superintendents highlight the wellness of women leaders in education

On April 13, the Women of DSAG hosted the inaugural Women of DSAG Virginia Archer Melbo Networking Event.

Featured Faculty

DSAG scholars are committed to making educational equity a reality

Each year, the Dean’s Superintendents Advisory Group (DSAG) provides scholarships to USC Rossier EdD candidates who aspire to the superintendency...

Contact Us

For more information, please reach out to Rachel Beal.

Rachel Beal

Rachel Beal

Associate Dean for Advancement